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Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Wang Baole had grown more familiar during the two weeks’ training with Soul Guidance, the second level of the Dark Art. However, his success rate remained dismal. He didn’t even want to think about using it as a form of attack successfully.
Wang Baole knew that this was all because of his cultivation. After all, this was a technique meant for one at the Core Formation realm.
What he needed to do wasn’t to wield the Soul Guidance technique but to use it as an aid to strengthen and grow his Dark Fires. He needed to use it to multiply his Dark Fires and prepare for his Core Formation.
At present, he had increased the number of his Dark Fires to sixty-three Dark Fires. Every eruption of his cultivation was an incredible display of power. It was many times greater than what he had been capable of in the past!
The Dark Sect had a minimum requirement for gifted disciples at the verge of Core Formation. They needed to have at least thirty-six Dark Fires. Wang Baole had surpassed the minimum requirement vastly. However, he felt that he still had room to grow!
During his training, Wang Baole completely forgot about the three souls he had thrown into the Rebirth Hallucination Array Formation. The deadline his master had given him to purify the vengeful souls slowly approached. Another seven days passed. Wang Baole, who finally managed to reach seventy Dark Fires, suddenly remembered the assignment his master had given him.
I think I’ve forgotten something… Wang Baole blinked. He stared at the array formation sheepishly.
I recall I adjusted the passing of time such that ten thousand years would pass in the illusory world for every day in the outside world… Wang Baole coughed awkwardly. He decided that the three souls had carried their dreams and ambitions into the illusory worlds. Even though he had almost forgotten about their existence, but… now that he thought about it, this wasn’t really a mistake on his part.
His mind was put to ease at that thought. He stood before the Rebirth Hallucination Array Formation, raised his right hand and performed a series of hand seals, then pressed his hand on the array formation. His vision was a sudden blur. It seemed as if his soul had stepped out from his physical form and gone wandering. He entered the array formation to retrieve the three souls.
The first mirage he entered was the young boy’s.
It was a world without cultivators. To a certain extent, this society resembled the Federation in Wang Baole’s dream. It was like the Federation a thousand years ago. Peace reigned over the entire world.
The city that the boy resided in was a big capital city in this world. In the day, people bustled about, while in the night, neon lights lit the skies up. It was a prosperous place filled with wealth and luxury.
Wang Baole arrived during the early morning of this world, while the sun was shining brightly and vehicles streamed down the roads. Wang Baole appeared in a school district in the city.
My senses tell me that the kid should be here. Wang Baole floated in mid-air as he rubbed at his chin. He began to search. It didn’t take him long to find a seven- to eight-year-old young boy in an alley. He was in uniform and carrying a huge, and what seemed to be extremely weighty, school bag… He trudged along wearily, looking like he was about to cry.
Behind him followed a middle-aged couple. They were clearly the boy’s parents. They carried even heavier school bags and kept up a constant litany of reminders as they walked.
It was a heartwarming sight. Wang Baole was comforted by the scene. Even though he might have been late, the sight of the family basking in love and tenderness reminded him of his own parents.
Wang Baole suddenly froze at that thought. He realized that he had a blurry image of his parents in this real life, but that he could clearly remember his family in his dream of the Federation.
Wang Baole began to feel lost and confused. He instinctively looked at the world around him. It was extremely realistic. Whether it was the stirring of the gentle breeze or the distant bustling of the city crowd, nothing gave off a hint of them being a mere illusion to his senses.
As Wang Baole continued to feel shocked and intrigued, the voices of the boy’s family drifted into Wang Baole’s ears as they approached.
“Xiao Bao, you must be diligent in your studies. Stop thinking about playing video games and spending money. When you grow up, you won’t have us nagging you anymore!”
“Stop scolding the child. Xiao Bao, your father is doing this for your own good. You’re still a child. It’s your birthday today though, which is why I’ve discussed it with your father, and after school ends today, you can relax for a bit. We’ll only run through eight lessons today, and complete twenty practice papers, then, memorize fifty classical poems. After that, you’ll get to have cake!
“Xiao Bao, you’re still so young. Stop sighing all the time. You must treasure your time in school. After all, there are only thirty thousand years to your graduation from elementary school. I’ve discussed it with your father. For the next two hundred thousand years in junior high, we’ll find you an even better after-school class!”
There was confusion in the young boy’s eyes. He almost wept when he heard what his parents said, but he had long since cried all his tears. The eye bags under his eyes were charcoal black. He seemed to be on the verge of a mental breakdown. He didn’t know how he had managed to survive the past two hundred thousand years… every day he had to go to school, attend tutoring after school, do practice papers, memorize all sorts of information…
The days repeated themselves. The years repeated themselves… Under the care and company of his parents, he kept on studying, and studying, and studying…
He had thought about resisting and fighting back, but it didn’t matter what methods he resorted to. Even when he had tried to kill himself, he would wake up the next morning as if nothing had happened. He would carry on studying and going for tutoring…
The only thing that was keeping him sane was the thought that everything was false. He knew that Wang Baole was going to come for him one day, so he kept on waiting. He waited for two hundred thousand years, but Wang Baole didn’t come.
Wang Baole had a strange look on his face when he heard the conversation between the boy’s parents. Shock stirred inside him when he saw how miserable the boy looked, and he felt some pity for him. He coughed.
When the cough rang out in the air, the entire world froze instantly. Everything fell still. Only he and the boy remained untouched by the spell.
The boy hadn’t noticed anything amiss at first. He had continued to lug his school bag and drag his feet forward, loss and misery clear on his face. After a few steps, he finally noticed something was wrong. He lifted his head abruptly and stared around him. When he saw Wang Baole, he was immediately overcome with excitement. He burst out into tears and leaped towards Wang Baole. With a thud, he fell to his knees.
“Master, you’ve finally arrived! I was wrong. Please take me away. I don’t want to stay here. I don’t want to go for tutoring anymore. I want to return and be an Artifact Spirit. Please, master, take me away, please…”
The young boy sobbed terribly. He seemed afraid that Wang Baole would ignore him, so he hugged Wang Baole’s thigh tightly. His weeping grew louder.
Wang Baole could only put a look of exasperation on his face. He led the boy out of the Rebirth Hallucination Array Formation. After some thought, he headed into the world which contained the sly fox who had called himself a State Preceptor.
The vastness of this world exceeded that of the young boy. The stars stretched on endlessly into the horizon, and it resembled the real world to a certain extent. There were cultivators here, even extremely powerful cultivators. However, regardless of how powerful they were, no one noticed when Wang Baole entered this world. With a single thought, Wang Baole could destroy this entire world.
He entered the world and found the old fox that had been a State Preceptor in his past life. He was… running for his life!
He was fleeing madly. He appeared to be in a wretched state, and his hair was in disarray. Regardless, he fled at an astonishing speed. He seemed to be running for his dear life without care for anything else in the world.
Behind him were countless people in pursuit. Amongst them were countless cultivators and a great number of cruisers clustered together and crowding the sky. They chased after him relentlessly.
It was clear that both the cultivators and the cruisers didn’t belong to the same faction. On closer examination, it seemed that they belonged to at least a dozen different camps.
Wang Baole might not have been so surprised if they had only been chasing after the sly fox. However, this was a different sort of pursuit. The expression on Wang Baole’s face grew odd… the pursuers were running and shouting at the same time. There was hostility amongst the different factions, and they seemed to be fighting amongst one another.
“State Preceptor, you are no longer young. You shouldn’t be running so quickly. Be careful not to injure yourself.”
“State Preceptor, don’t go. Our country cannot live without you. Its tens of millions of citizens cannot live without you!”
“State Preceptor, the emperor has decreed. If you do not return, he’ll kill himself…”
“State Preceptor, we’ve discovered another galaxy. There are thousands of civilizations there, waiting for you to become their State Preceptor!”
The cheers of those in pursuit echoed and rang out in the air. The old man fleeing in front was about to go mad. His unbound hair flew in his face, and his eyes were red as he howled in fury and sorrow.
“Scram, all of you. I’m not the State Preceptor. You’re the State Preceptor. Your whole family are State Preceptors!” As he said that, his tears began to flow once more. A deep sorrow filled his heart.
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